MALIBU (CNS) - A body found at the side of a roadway in the Malibu area was identified by family members as a transgender woman, and the investigation was continuing today into the death.
The body was found Thursday morning in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A cause of death has not yet been determined, but sheriff's officials said there were no obvious signs of trauma.
As of Monday afternoon, the person's name was still being withheld by the Los Angeles County coroner's office, pending notification of relatives. But family members identified the person as 27-year-old Day Rodas.
In a GoFundMe page created by Rodas' sister, she was described as "the most forgiving person who strongly advocated for LGBTQ rights."
Rodas was an employee at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
"She recently started living her life authentically as she came out to friends and family about being a trans woman. She was the most forgiving person who strongly advocated for LGBTQ rights. She had so much love for family and friends and she saw the good in everyone ... after being afraid for 27 years, she only got to live freely without fear for only six months which breaks our hearts," her younger sister wrote.
Joe Hollendoner, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, said in a statement that Rodas was a "vital member of the center, working within our Community Health Program, and she worked devotedly during her tenure to keep LGBTQ+ people educated, informed, and safe. We are so proud of the work that Day did for the center and our community."
"To have her life cut short in this moment -- and under such troubling circumstances -- makes her loss all the more heartbreaking. We cannot honor the life of Day Rodas without naming that violence against transgender people -- particularly transgender women of color -- is at an all-time high," Hollendoner said.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.